Fiber-Optic Intracranial Pressure Monitoring System Using Wi-Fi—An In Vivo Study

Neurosurgery 92:647–656, 2023

Continuous invasive monitoring of intracranial pressure (ICP) is essential in neurocritical care for surveillance and management of raised ICP. Fluid-based systems and strain gauge microsensors remain the current standard. In the past few decades, several studies with wireless monitoring were developed aiming to reduce invasiveness and complications.

OBJECTIVE: To describe a novel Wi-Fi fiber-optic device for continuous ICP monitoring using smartphone in a swine model.

METHODS: Two ICP sensors (wireless prototype and wire-based reference) were implanted in the cerebral parenchyma of a swine model for a total of 120 minutes of continuous monitoring. Every 5 minutes, jugular veins compression was performed to evaluate ICP changes. The experimentation was divided in 3 phases for comparison and analysis.

RESULTS: Phase 1 showed agreement in ICP changes for both sensors during jugular compression and releasing, with a positive and strong Spearman correlation (r = 0.829, P < .001). Phase 2 started after inversion of the sensors in the burr holes; there was a positive and moderately weak Spearman correlation (r = 0.262, P < .001). For phase 3, the sensors were returned to the first burr holes; the prototype behaved similarly to the reference sensor, presenting a positive and moderately strong Spearman correlation (r = 0.669, P < .001).

CONCLUSION: A Wi-Fi ICP monitoring system was demonstrated in a comprehensive and feasible way. It was possible to observe, using smartphone, an adequate correlation regarding ICP variations. Further adaptations are already being developed.

Ocular Optical Coherence Tomography in the Evaluation of Sellar and Parasellar Masses

Neurosurgery 92:42–67, 2023

Compression of the anterior visual pathways by sellar and parasellar masses can produce irreversible and devastating visual loss.

Optical coherence tomography (OCT) is a noninvasive high-resolution ocular imaging modality routinely used in ophthalmology clinics for qualitative and quantitative analysis of optic nerve and retinal structures, including the retinal ganglion cells.

By demonstrating structural loss of the retinal ganglion cells whose axons form the optic nerve before decussating in the optic chiasm, OCT imaging of the optic nerve and retina provides an excellent tool for detection and monitoring of compressive optic neuropathies and chiasmopathies due to sellar and parasellar masses.

Recent studies have highlighted the role of OCT imaging in the diagnosis, follow-up, and prognostication of the visual outcomes in patients with chiasmal compression. OCT parameters of optic nerve and macular scans such as peripapillary retinal nerve fiber layer thickness and macular ganglion cell thickness are correlated with the degree of visual loss; additionally, OCT can detect clinically significant optic nerve and chiasmal compression before visual field loss is revealed on automated perimetry. Preoperative values of OCT optic nerve and macular parameters represent a prognostic tool for postoperative visual outcome.

This review provides a qualitative analysis of the current applications of OCT imaging of the retina and optic nerve in patients with anterior visual pathway compression from sellar and parasellar masses. We also review the role of new technologies such as OCT-angiography, which could improve the prognostic ability of OCT to predict postoperative visual function.

Venous Sinus Stenting for Low Pressure Gradient Stenoses in Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension

Neurosurgery 91:734–740, 2022

Medically refractory idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH) is frequently treated with venous sinus stenosis stenting with high success rates. Patient selection has been driven almost exclusively by identification of supraphysiological venous pressure gradients across stenotic regions based on theoretical assessment of likelihood of response.

OBJECTIVE: To explore the possibility of benefit in low venous pressure gradient patients.

METHODS: Using a single-center, prospectively maintained registry of patients with IIH undergoing venous stenting, we defined treatment groups by gradient pressures of ≤4, 5 to 8, and >8 mmHg based on the most frequently previously published thresholds for stenting. Baseline demographics, clinical, and neuro-ophthalmological outcomes (including optical coherence tomography and Humphrey visual fields) were compared.

RESULTS: Among 53 patients, the mean age was 32 years and 70% female with a mean body mass index was 36 kg/m2 . Baseline characteristics were similar between groups. The mean change in lumbar puncture opening pressure at 6 months poststenting was similar between the 3 groups (≤4, 5-8, and >8 mmHg; 13.4, 12.9, and 12.4 cmH2 O, P=.47). Papilledema improvement was observed across groups at 6 months (100, 93, and 86, P = .7) as were all clinical symptoms. The mean changes in optical coherence tomography retinal nerve fiber layer (À30, À54, and À104, P = .5) and mean deviation in Humphrey visual fields (60, 64, and 67, P = .5) at 6 weeks were not significantly different.

CONCLUSION: Patients with IH with low venous pressure gradient venous sinus stenosis seem to benefit equally from venous stenting compared with their higher gradient counterparts. Re-evaluation of our restrictive criteria for this potentially vision sparing intervention is warranted. Future prospective confirmatory studies are needed.

Cerebrospinal fluid shunting protocol for idiopathic intracranial hypertension for an improved revision rate

J Neurosurg 136:1790–1795, 2022

Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) shunting in idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH) is associated with high complication rates, primarily because of the technical challenges that are related to small ventricles and a large body habitus. In this study, the authors report the benefits of a standardized protocol for CSF shunting in patients with IIH as relates to shunt revisions.

METHODS This was a retrospective study of consecutive patients with IIH who had undergone primary insertion of a CSF shunt between January 2014 and December 2020 at the authors’ hospital. In July 2019, they implemented a surgical protocol for shunting in IIH. This protocol recommended IIH shunt insertion by neurosurgeons with expertise in CSF disorders, a frontal ventriculoperitoneal (VP) shunt with an adjustable gravitational valve and integrated intracranial pressure monitoring device, frameless stereotactic insertion of the ventricular catheter, and laparoscopic insertion of the peritoneal catheter. Thirty-day revision rates before and after implementation of the protocol were compared in order to assess the impact of standardizing shunting for IIH on shunt complications.

RESULTS The 81 patients included in the study were predominantly female (93%), with a mean age of 31 years at primary surgery and mean body mass index (BMI) of 37 kg/m2. Forty-five patients underwent primary surgery prior to implementation of the protocol and 36 patients after. Overall, 12 (15%) of 81 patients needed CSF shunt revision in the first 30 days, 10 before and 2 after introduction of the protocol. This represented a significant reduction in the early revision rate from 22% to 6% after the protocol (p = 0.036). The most common cause of shunt revision for the whole cohort was migration or misplacement of the peritoneal catheter, occurring in 6 of the 12 patients. Patients with a higher BMI were significantly more likely to have a shunt revision within 30 days (p = 0.022).

CONCLUSIONS The Birmingham standardized IIH shunt protocol resulted in a significant reduction in revisions within 30 days of primary shunt surgery in patients with IIH. The authors recommend standardization for shunting in IIH as a method for improving surgical outcomes. They support the notion of subspecialization for IIH shunts, the use of a frontal VP shunt with sophisticated technology, and laparoscopic insertion of the peritoneal end. https:

Transverse sinus stenting without surgical repair in idiopathic CSF rhinorrhea associated with transverse sinus stenoses

J Neurosurg 136:1745–1751, 2022

Based on their clinical and radiological patterns, idiopathic CSF rhinorrhea and idiopathic intracranial hypertension can represent different clinical expressions of the same underlying pathological process. Transverse sinus stenoses are associated with both diseases, resulting in eventual restriction of the venous CSF outflow pathway. While venous sinus stenting has emerged as a promising treatment for idiopathic intracranial hypertension, its efficiency on idiopathic CSF leaks has not been very well addressed in the literature so far. The purpose of this study was to report the results of transverse sinus stenting in patients with spontaneous CSF rhinorrhea associated with transverse sinus stenoses.

METHODS From a prospectively collected database, the authors retrospectively collected the clinical and radiological features of the patients with spontaneous CSF leakage who were treated with venous sinus stenting.

RESULTS Five female patients were included in this study. Transverse sinus stenoses were present in all patients, and other radiological signs of idiopathic intracranial hypertension were present in 4 patients. The median transstenotic pressure gradient was 6.5 mm Hg (range 3–9 mm Hg). Venous stenting resulted in the disappearance of the leak in 4 patients with no recurrence and no subsequent meningitis during the follow-up (median 12 months, range 6–63 months).

CONCLUSIONS According to the authors’ results, venous sinus stenting may result in the disappearance of the leak in many cases of idiopathic CSF rhinorrhea. Larger comparative studies are needed to assess the efficiency and safety of venous stenting as a first-line approach in patients with spontaneous CSF rhinorrhea associated with transverse sinus stenoses.

Permanent Cerebrospinal Fluid Diversion in Adults With Posterior Fossa Tumors: Incidence and Predictors


Neurosurgery 89:987–996, 2021

Posterior fossa tumors (PFTs) can cause hydrocephalus. Hydrocephalus can persist despite resection of PFTs in a subset of patients requiring permanent cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) diversion. Characteristics of this patient subset are not well defined.

OBJECTIVE: To define preoperative and postoperative variables that predict the need for postoperative CSF diversion in adult patients with PFTs.

METHODS: We surveyed the CNS (Central Nervous System) Tumor Outcomes Registry at Emory (CTORE) for patients who underwent PFT resection at 3 tertiary-care centers between 2006 and 2019. Demographic, radiographic, perioperative, and dispositional data were analyzed using univariate and multivariate models.

RESULTS:We included 617 patients undergoing PFT resection for intra-axial (57%) or extraaxial (43%) lesions. Gross total resection was achieved in 62% of resections. Approximately 13% of patients required permanent CSF diversion/shunting. Only 31.5% of patients who required pre- or intraop external ventricular drain (EVD) placement needed permanent CSF diversion. On logistic regression, size, transependymal flow, use of perioperative EVD, postoperative intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH), and surgical complications were predictors of permanent CSF diversion. Preoperative tumor size was only independent predictor of postoperative shunting in patients with subtotal resection. In patients with intra-axial tumors, transependymal flow (P = .014), postoperative IVH (P = .001), surgical complications (P = .013), and extent of resection (P = .03) predicted need for shunting. In extra-axial tumors, surgical complications were the major predictor (P = .022).

CONCLUSION: Our study demonstrates that presence of preoperative hydrocephalus in patients with PFT does not necessarily entail the need for permanent CSF diversion. We report the major predictive factors for needing permanent CSF diversion.

External Lumbar Drainage following Traumatic Intracranial Hypertension

Neurosurgery 89:395–405, 2021

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) often results in elevations in intracranial pressure (ICP) that are refractory to standard therapies. Several studies have investigated the utility of external lumbar drainage (ELD) in this setting.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the safety and efficacy of ELD or lumbar puncture with regard to immediate effect on ICP, durability of the effect on ICP, complications, and neurological outcomes in adults with refractory traumatic intracranial hypertension.

METHODS: A systematic review and meta-analysis were conducted beginning with a comprehensive search of PubMed/EMBASE. Two investigators reviewed studies for eligibility and extracted data. The strength of evidence was evaluated using GRADE methodology. Random-effects meta-analyses were performed to calculate pooled estimates.

RESULTS: Nine articles detailing 6 studies (N = 110) were included. There was moderate evidence that ELD has a significant immediate effect on ICP; the pooled effect size was –19.5 mmHg (95% CI –21.0 to –17.9 mmHg). There was low evidence to indicate a durable effect of ELD on ICP up to at least 24 h following ELD. There was low evidence to indicate that ELD was safe and associated with a low rate of clinical cerebral herniation or meningitis. There was very low evidence pertaining to neurological outcomes.

CONCLUSION: Given preliminary data indicating potential safety and feasibility in highly selected cases, the use of ELD in adults with severe TBI and refractory intracranial hypertension in the presence of open basal cisterns and absence of large focal hematoma merits further high-quality investigation; the ideal conditions for potential application remain to be determined.

In vitro performance of six combinations of adjustable differential pressure valves and fixed anti-siphon devices with and without vertical motion

Acta Neurochirurgica (2020) 162:2421–2430

Adjustable differential pressure (DP) valves in combination with fixed anti-siphon devices are currently a popular combination in counteracting the effects of cerebrospinal fluid overdrainage following implantation of a ventriculoperitoneal shunt system. The study examined the flowperformance of three DP valves in successive combination with an anti-siphon device in an in vitro shunt laboratory with and without vertical motion.

Methods We analyzed three DP valves (Codman Hakim Medos programmable valve [HM], Codman CertasPlus [CP], and Miethke proGAV [PG], in combination with either Codman SiphonGuard [SG] or Miethke ShuntAssistant [SA]), resulting in the evaluation of six different valve combinations. Defined DP conditions between 4 and 40 cmH2O within a simulated shunt system were generated and the specific flow characteristics were measured. In addition, combinations with SA, which is a gravitydependent valve, were measured in defined spatial positions (90°, 60°). All device combinations were tested during vertical motion with movement frequencies of 2, 3, and 4 Hz.

Results All valve combinations effectively counteracted the siphon effect in relation to the chosen DP. Angulation-related flow changes were similar in the three combinations of DP valve and SA in the 60° and 90° position. In CP-SA and PG-SA, repeated vertical movement at 2, 3, and 4 Hz led to significant increase in flow, whereas in HM-SA, constant increase was seen at 4 Hz only (flow change at 4Hz, DP 40 cm H2O: PG (opening pressure 4 cm H2O) 90°: 0.95 ml/min, 60°: 0.71 ml/min; HM (opening pressure 4 cmH2O) 90°: 0.66 ml/min, 60°: 0.41ml/min; CP (PL 2) 90°: 0.94ml/min, 60°: 0.79 ml/min; p < 0.01); however, HMSA showed relevant motion-induced flow already at low DPs (0.85 ml/min, DP 4 cm H2O). In combinations of DP valve with SG, increase of flow was far less pronounced and even led to significant reduction of flow in certain constellations. Maximum overall flow increase was 0.46 ± 0.04ml/min with aHM(opening pressure 12 cm H2O) at 2 Hz and a DP of 10 cmH2O, whereas maximum flow decrease was 1.12 ± 0.08 with a PG (opening pressure 4 cm H2O) at 3 Hz and a DP of 10 cmH2O.

Conclusion In an experimental setup, all valve combinations effectively counteracted the siphon effect in the vertical position according to their added resistance. Motion-induced increased flow was consistently demonstrated in combinations of DP valve and SA. The combination of HM and SA especially showed relevant motion-induced flow already at low DPs. In combinations of DP and SG, the pattern of the motion induced flow was more inconsistent and motion even led to significant flow reduction, predominantly at DPs of 10 and 20 cmH2O.


Lumboperitoneal and Ventriculoperitoneal Shunting for Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension Demonstrate Comparable Failure and Complication Rates

Neurosurgery 86:272–280, 2020

Idiopathic intracranial hypertension results in increased intracranial pressure leading to headache and visual loss. This disease frequently requires surgical intervention through lumboperitoneal (LP) or ventriculoperitoneal (VP) shunting.

OBJECTIVE: To compare postoperative outcomes between LP and VP shunts, including failure and complication rates.

METHODS: A retrospective analysis was conducted using a national administrative database (MarketScan) to identify idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH) patients who underwent LP or VP shunting from 2007 to 2014. Multivariate logistic and Cox regressions were performed to compare rates of shunt failure and time to shunt failure between LP and VP shunts while controlling for demographics and comorbidities.

RESULTS: The analytic cohort included 1082 IIH patients, 347 of whom underwent LP shunt placement at index hospitalization and 735 of whom underwent VP shunt placement. Rates of shunt failure were similar among patients with LP and VP shunt (34.6% vs 31.7%; P=.382). Among patients who experienced shunt failure, the mean number of shunt failures was 2.1±1.6 and was similar between LP and VP cohorts. Ninety-day readmission rates, complication rates, and costs did not differ significantly between LP and VP shunts. Patients who experienced more than two shunt failures tended to have an earlier time to first shunt failure (hazard ratio 1.41; 95% confidence interval 1.08-1.85; P = .013).

CONCLUSION: These findings suggest that LP and VP shunts may have comparable rates of shunt failure and complication. Regardless of shunt type, earlier time to first shunt failure may be associated with multiple shunt failures.

Comparison of the CSF dynamics between patients with idiopathic normal pressure hydrocephalus and healthy volunteers

J Neurosurg 131:1018–1023, 2019

Intracranial pressure (ICP), outflow resistance (R out ), and amplitude of cardiac-related ICP pulsations (AMPs) are established parameters to describe the CSF hydrodynamic system and are assumed, but not confirmed, to be disturbed in idiopathic normal pressure hydrocephalus (INPH). The aim of this study was to compare the CSF hydrodynamic profile between patients with INPH and healthy volunteers.

METHODS Sixty-two consecutive INPH patients (mean age 74 years) and 40 healthy volunteers (mean age 70 years) were included. Diagnosis was made by two independent neurologists who assessed patients’ history, neurological status, and MRI studies. A CSF dynamic investigation through the lumbar route was performed: ICP and other CSF dynamic variables were blinded to the neurologists during the diagnostic process and were not used for establishing the diagnosis of INPH.

RESULTS R out was significantly higher in INPH (R out 17.1 vs 11.1; p < 0.001), though a substantial number of INPH subjects had normal R out . There were no differences between INPH patients and controls regarding ICP (mean 11.5 mm Hg). At resting pressure, there was a trend that AMP in INPH was increased (2.4 vs 2.0 mm Hg; p = 0.109). The relationship between AMP and ICP was that they shared the same slope, but the curve was significantly shifted to the left for INPH (reduced P 0 [p < 0.05]; i.e., higher AMP for the same ICP).

CONCLUSIONS This study established that the CSF dynamic profile of INPH deviates from that of healthy volunteers and that INPH should thus be regarded as a disease in which intracranial hydrodynamics are part of the pathophysiology.

Clinical trial registration no.: NCT01188382 (

Twenty-Five Years of Intracranial Pressure Monitoring After Severe Traumatic Brain Injury: A Retrospective, Single-Center Analysis

Neurosurgery, Volume 85, Issue 1, July 2019, Pages E75–E82

Intracranial pressure (ICP) is a clinically important variable after severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) and has been monitored, along with clinical outcome, for over 25 yr in Addenbrooke’s hospital, Cambridge, United Kingdom. This time period has also seen changes in management strategies with the implementation of protocolled specialist neurocritical care, expansion of neuromonitoring techniques, and adjustments of clinical treatment targets.

OBJECTIVE: To describe the changes in intracranial monitoring variables over the past 25 yr.

METHODS: Data from 1146 TBI patients requiring ICP monitoring were analyzed. Monitored variables included ICP, cerebral perfusion pressure (CPP), and the cerebral pressure reactivity index (PRx). Data were stratified into 5-yr epochs spanning the 25 yr from 1992 to 2017.

RESULTS: CPP increased sharply with specialist neurocritical care management (P < 0.0001) (introduction of a specific TBI management algorithm) before stabilizing from 2000 onwards. ICP decreased significantly over the 25 yr of monitoring from an average of 19 to 12 mmHg (P < 0.0001) but PRx remained unchanged. The mean number of ICP plateau waves and the number of patients developing refractory intracranial hypertension both decreased significantly. Mortality did not significantly change in the cohort (22%).

CONCLUSION: We demonstrate the evolving trends in neurophysiological monitoring over the past 25 yr from a single, academic neurocritical care unit. ICP and CPP were responsive to the introduction of an ICP/CPP protocol while PRx has remained unchanged.

Pulsatile versus non-pulsatile tinnitus in idiopathic intracranial hypertension

Acta Neurochirurgica (2018) 160:2025–2029

Tinnitus is a symptom commonly associated with idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH) that can have a profound effect on quality of life. We aim to determine tinnitus symptom response after dural venous sinus stenting (DVSS) or CSF diversion with a shunt, in patients with both pulsatile (PT) and non-pulsatile tinnitus (NPT).

Methods: Single-centre cohort of IIH patients (2006–2016) who underwent 24-h ICP monitoring (ICPM). An un-paired t test compared ICP and pulse amplitude (PA) values in IIH patients with PT vs. NPT.

Results: We identified 59 patients with IIH (56 F:3 M), mean age 32.5 ± 9.49 years, 14 of whom suffered from tinnitus. Of these 14, seven reported PT and seven reported NPT. Patients with tinnitus had a mean 24-h ICP and PA of 9.09 ± 5.25 mmHg and 6.05 ± 1.07 mmHg respectively. All 7 patients with PT showed symptom improvement or resolution after DVSS (n = 4), secondary DVSS (n=2) or shunting (n = 1). In contrast, of the 7 with NPT, only 1 improved post intervention (DVSS), despite 2 patients having shunts and 5 having DVSS.

Conclusions: NPT and PT were equally as common in our group of IIH patients. DVSS appears to be an effective management option for IIH patients with a clear history of pulsatile tinnitus. However, non-pulsatile tinnitus was more persistent and did not respond well to either DVSS or CSF diversion.

Evaluation of a novel noninvasive ICP monitoring device in patients undergoing invasive ICP monitoring: preliminary results

J Neurosurg 128:1653–1660, 2018

There is no established method of noninvasive intracranial pressure (NI-ICP) monitoring that can serve as an alternative to the gold standards of invasive monitoring with external ventricular drainage or intraparenchymal monitoring. In this study a new method of NI-ICP monitoring performed using algorithms to determine ICP based on acoustic properties of the brain was applied in patients undergoing invasive ICP (I-ICP) monitoring, and the results were analyzed.

METHODS In patients with traumatic brain injury and subarachnoid hemorrhage who were undergoing treatment in a neurocritical intensive care unit, the authors recorded ICP using the gold standard method of invasive external ventricular drainage or intraparenchymal monitoring. In addition, the authors simultaneously measured the ICP noninvasively with a device (the HS-1000) that uses advanced signal analysis algorithms for acoustic signals propagating through the cranium. To assess the accuracy of the NI-ICP method, data obtained using both I-ICP and NI-ICP monitoring methods were analyzed with MATLAB to determine the statistical significance of the differences between the ICP measurements obtained using NI-ICP and I-ICP monitoring.

RESULTS Data were collected in 14 patients, yielding 2543 data points of continuous parallel ICP values in recordings obtained from I-ICP and NI-ICP. Each of the 2 methods yielded the same number of data points. For measurements at the ≥ 17–mm Hg cutoff, which was arbitrarily chosen for this preliminary analysis, the sensitivity and specificity for the NI-ICP monitoring were found to be 0.7541 and 0.8887, respectively. Linear regression analysis indicated that there was a strong positive relationship between the measurements. Differential pressure between NI-ICP and I-ICP was within ± 3 mm Hg in 63% of data-paired readings and within ± 5 mm Hg in 85% of data-paired readings. The receiver operating characteristic–area under the curve analysis revealed that the area under the curve was 0.895, corresponding to the overall performance of NI-ICP monitoring in comparison with I-ICP monitoring.

CONCLUSIONS This study provides the first clinical data on the accuracy of the HS-1000 NI-ICP monitor, which uses advanced signal analysis algorithms to evaluate properties of acoustic signals traveling through the brain in patients undergoing I-ICP monitoring. The findings of this study highlight the capability of this NI-ICP device to accurately measure ICP noninvasively. Further studies should focus on clinical validation for elevated ICP values.

Effect of venous stenting on intracranial pressure in idiopathic intracranial hypertension

Acta Neurochir (2017) 159:1429–1437

Idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH) is characterised by an increased intracranial pressure (ICP) in the absence of any central nervous system disease or structural abnormality and by normal CSF composition. Management becomes complicated once surgical intervention is required. Venous sinus stenosis has been suggested as a possible aetiology for IIH. Venous sinus stenting has emerged as a possible interventional option. Evidence for venous sinus stenting is based on elimination of the venous pressure gradient and clinical response. There have been no studies demonstrating the immediate effect of venous stenting on ICP.

Methods Patients with a potential or already known diagnosis of IIH were investigated according to departmental protocol. ICP monitoring was performed for 24 h. When high pressures were confirmed, CT venogram and catheter venography were performed to look for venous stenosis to demonstrate a pressure gradient. If positive, venous stenting would be performed and ICP monitoring would continue for a further 24 h after deployment of the venous stent.

Results Ten patients underwent venous sinus stenting with concomitant ICP monitoring. Nine out of ten patients displayed an immediate reduction in their ICP that was maintained at 24 h. The average reduction in mean ICP and pulsatility was significant (p = 0.003). Six out of ten patients reported a symptomatic improvement within the first 2 weeks.

Conclusions Venous sinus stenting results in an immediate reduction in ICP. This physiological response to venous stenting has not previously been reported. Venous stenting could offer an alternative treatment option in correctly selected patients with IIH.

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